Clark Hill is expanding its presence in Dublin though a merger with Irish firm O’Gradys Solicitors, the Am Law 200 firm announced Wednesday.
The firm, with roots in Detroit, quietly opened its first international office in Dublin at the end of 2017 with four local partners. The merger with O’Gradys brings the Dublin head count up to 19 solicitors and allows Clark Hill to provide legal services more broadly to international clients doing business in Ireland.
Clark Hill CEO John Hern noted that as a result of Brexit, Dublin—which will become the largest English-speaking city in the European Union—presents a unique set of opportunities.
“Dublin is a welcoming city, Ireland is a welcoming country. It’s a country that punches above its weight in terms of its impact economically and its role in the E.U.,” he said. “We wanted to understand the market and study it. We’ve done our homework and taken a slow approach up to this point.”
Hern added that Clark Hill sees room to grow in Dublin, where the firm intends to serve both U.S. and Irish clients.
“We can now offer Irish clients, large and small, access to the full suite of legal services throughout the U.S,” Kirby Tarrant, partner in charge of the Dublin office, said in a statement. “We are ideally placed to serve the increasing needs of U.S. clients doing business in and through Ireland, and equally to facilitate the globalization goals of Irish SMEs wishing to expand into the U.S.”
The move also was welcomed by IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for encouraging inbound foreign direct investment into the nation.
“The development of Ireland as an international litigation and arbitration hub in recent times enhances Ireland’s reputation as a location for foreign direct investment within Europe. Clark Hill’s choice of Ireland as the location for its first European office demonstrates the country’s attractive business environment and talented, highly skilled workforce,” CEO Martin Shanahan said in a statement. “The firm is a welcome addition to the strong base of legal services firms operating in Ireland.”
Since its initial entry into Ireland, Clark Hill merged with Texas-based Strasburger & Price in April 2018, picking up an office in Mexico City along with a slew of other locations in Texas and elsewhere. The firm now is home to more than 650 attorneys.